We measured the project’s success by comparing performance against our original objectives. The redesigned website highlighted Santa Monica’s unique value proposition and has increased user engagement including a 14% increase in returning visitors, a 565% increase in the newsletter subscription conversion rate and a 269% increase in page views for hotels. Visitors are now welcomed by a virtual gateway that connects them to Santa Monica’s distinctive charm, leading to increased referrals for our hotel, dining and activities stakeholders.
CDP Translates to ROI
Using our unique Creative Digital Performance approach, Noble Studios tackled a multitude of business challenges faced by Santa Monica Travel & Tourism in a post-pandemic environment. A full website overhaul helped the DMO ease into this brave new world of travel.
Encouraging Travel in a Post-Pandemic World
SMTT faced several significant business challenges, including the need to drive hotel referrals, inspire travel and encourage inclusivity as the world began to emerge from the period of COVID. SantaMonica.com needed to stand out as a premier destination for travel — not just for Californians, but for people from across the globe.
From the outset, it was clear that a website overhaul was crucial to showcase Santa Monica’s unique offerings and reinvigorate its tourism industry after COVID-19. The existing website’s limitations in technology and design restricted customization and no longer kept pace with the evolving demands of travelers.
Our overarching goal was to stabilize occupancy after a global pandemic and to help our stakeholders — local businesses — thrive again. We also wanted to emphasize the experience of creation and connection that Santa Monica uniquely offers travelers.
- Provide a digital overhaul for SantaMonica.com
- Drive hotel referrals in a post-pandemic environment
- Propel Santa Monica to new heights as a premier destination
Three Key Metrics
Newsletter Conversion Rate
Things to Do Page Increase
More Than Just a Cosmetic Makeover
Our efforts began with gaining a deeper understanding of SantaMonica.com’s target audience, including their preferences and behaviors. For this, we used tools like Google Analytics, heat mapping and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) testing. This research informed every aspect of our strategy. We wanted to reintroduce Santa Monica as a distinctive “home base” destination, separate from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and other neighboring Southern California destinations.
To set our project apart, we infused it with innovation and creativity at every step. The redesigned website showcases a modern, user-friendly interface that captivates visitors from the first page load. Site users can even toggle between a day and night mode while exploring things to do.
A Radical Transformation
The SMTT website underwent a remarkable transformation. Our primary goal was to craft an immersive and captivating user experience through the integration of visually stunning elements, intuitive navigation and enhanced usability.
With a strong determination to distinguish ourselves from other destinations in Southern California, we implemented innovative strategies that set us apart. These included:
Unique Homepage Hero: The homepage featured a distinctive hero section, capturing visitors’ attention with captivating imagery and compelling messaging that set the tone for the Santa Monica experience.
Day/Night Block with Toggled Content: A dynamic day/night block allows users to toggle between different content based on their preferences, offering a personalized and immersive experience tailored to each person’s needs.
Custom Visual Stories: The website integrated custom visual stories that showcased the charm of Santa Monica through stunning visuals and engaging narratives, immersing users in the destination’s vibrant culture and iconic landmarks.
Adjusting to a New Landscape
Our mission was to redefine how travelers and meeting planners perceive our destination in a post-pandemic world and position it as a captivating “home base” for our domestic and international audiences interested in exploring Southern California. This would help us achieve our objective of stabilizing occupancy rates, driving visitation during shoulder seasons and showcasing Santa Monica’s vibrant experiences.
We also recognized the importance of crafting a technologically advanced and feature-rich website that would captivate the hearts and imaginations of our audiences: refined romantics, sun soakers and trendsetting thrill-seekers.
Effective messaging and positioning were crucial for the redesign. We focused on conveying the unique blend of laid-back California vibes and sophistication that Santa Monica offers. Every touchpoint on our website reflects the energy, diversity and cultural richness of our destination, from the iconic Pier to the vibrant Third Street Promenade.
For our refined romantics, we curated a collection of enchanting experiences that evoke passion and romance. Our sun soakers, on the other hand, seek the perfect balance between relaxation and excitement. As for our trendsetting thrill-seekers, we recognize their desire for cutting-edge experiences.
Unique Meeting and Conventions Homepage: The meeting and conventions section had a dedicated homepage with an alternate theme, including a “Base Yourself” accordion listing major features and a “Find Your Venue” tool with animations for customizable venue searches, providing meeting planners with a seamless and efficient experience.
Editorial Design Style: The website embraced an editorial design style, resembling a magazine layout with unique background patterns, creating a visually appealing and engaging platform.
Unique Stakeholder Detail Pages: Stakeholder detail pages featured side-by-side content and image sections that moved separately as users scrolled, offering an interactive and visually dynamic storytelling experience.
Animations and Parallax Effects: Animations were seamlessly integrated throughout the website, including a map in the footer, parallax scrolling effects and alternate navigation styles when scrolling, adding interactivity and visual interest.
Referral Tracking: GA4 reporting enabled detailed performance analysis, allowing quantification of the organization’s impact on referrals to lodging, activities and dining partners, providing valuable insights for the team and stakeholders.
Turning Santa Monica into a world-class destination
Through Noble’s innovative strategies, SantaMonica.com became the go-to resource for unique Southern California experiences. User engagement, subscriptions, page views and positive behavior metrics validate our campaign’s effectiveness in delivering value and achieving goals.
Direct Channel User Boost
Increase in Return Visitors
Average Page Load Time Reduction
Bounce Rate Reduction
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